Top consumer brand social media faux pas


By Satya Ramaswamy

TCS’ study, Mastering Digital Feedback: How the best consumer companies use social media, uncovered the answers and discovered social media is, in fact, under-utilised by many companies, compared to Big Data investments.

1. Companies are not using the full spectrum of social channels. Less than half of North American companies have private online communities for consumers or company-sponsored online video channels. Only 22% are using social games to interact with consumers.

2. Companies are using social media less than big data and mobility.

3. Companies are not using social media to replace traditional focus groups in customer research initiatives. Focus groups have become an overly sterilised method of gathering consumer opinions; social media delivers an honest, true and timely window into consumer attitudes about products and brands.

4. Most companies simply don’t spend enough on social media. In this study, the companies that are “Leaders” (really reaping the benefits of social media) are spending double on social media this year in comparison to the companies that are “Laggards.”

5. Company cultures are not changing from the top down to embrace social media. “Leaders” are nearly three times as likely to have cultures that value consumer opinions and share knowledge internally. Eighty nine percent of Leaders value customer opinions. But, with the Laggards, only 30% do.

6. Companies have been late to the game with social media. In fact, most consumer companies have only become serious about social media in just the last three years; and, globally, only 14% of study respondents regularly used public social networking sites in some fashion before 2007.

7. Companies are not staffing up on social. “Leaders” have a large internal “social circle” across function, yet a third of our survey respondents had 10 or less employees working on social media across the entire company.

8. Companies might be watching, but they’re not really listening and interpreting. Sentiment analysis depends on technologies such as natural language processing and text analytics. “Laggards” are doing this only about half as much as the “Leaders” in social media.

9. Companies aren’t even tracking their social media ROI. A full 44% of companies surveyed don’t even track the ROI on their social media activities.


About the author

Dr. Satya Ramaswamy is Global Head of TCS Digital Enterprise.

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